Hippos Sussita (“Horse” in both Greek and Aramaic) was a Pagan city built on top of a large cliff overlooking the Sea of Galilee in Hellenistic times. Sussita thrived for about a thousand years until its final destrcution by an earthquake in 749 CE.
It’s rich remains include a main street (Decumanos) a temple, a cathedral, four churches, a forum, a possible ruler shrine (Kyble), and an Odeon.
In 2019 a fifth church was found at the site, with decoration alluding the miracle of the multiplication of Loaves and Fish (Mark 6).
Hippos-Sussita and The Decapolis
Decapolis is a term used to describe a group of supposedly ten cities in the southern Levant that co-existed during the Roman period. These cities were all centers of Greek and Roman culture and supported by the Romans. Some of these cities exist to this day, and some have become archaeological sites. Six of these cities are today in Jordan (Gerasa, Gadara, Pella, Amman, Capitolias, and Raphana). Two are in Syria (Damascus and Canatha), and two in Israel (Beit-Shean and Hippos-Sussita). Non
The Decapolis and Jesus
The Gospels record Jesus visiting the cities of the Decapolis, but none of them mention which ones. Jesus probably visited Beit-Shean (then called Nysa Scythopolis), as it is on the way from the Galilee to Jerusalem.
Gadara is mentioned in Matthew’s version of the story of the miracle of the swine (8:28), while Gerasa is mentioned Mark’s version to the same story (5:1). In reality, the city of Hippos-Sussita is the closest to the Sea of Galilee, where the event took place. Being so, the swine herders were probably from Hippos-Sussita, or another city (Kursi?) whose name was later forgotten.
Damascus is mentioned in the book of acts, as where Paul converted to Christianity.
- See here a video presentation of Hippos-Sussita
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(8/2019) New church found with decoration alluding to the “miracles of the multiplication of Loaves and fish”
In a recent article in “Haaretz” a sensational new discovery was presented – a mosaic floor of another church found in Hippos-Sussita. A discovery of an ancient church is not that rare, and four churches were already discovered in Sussita alone, but this was the first to be found at the site with an almost complete mosaic floor intact, and its decoration include fish and baskets, two of baskets even bearing 5 loaves of bread, matching the textual description of the “Miracle of the mulitplication of the loaves and fish (Mark 6). While it is indeed tempting to suggest that